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10 other beautiful libraries in animated series

Back in November of last year, I wrote a post about 10 beautiful libraries in animated series. This post is an extension of that, as I note ten other series with beautiful libraries. Without any further ado, let us begin!

1. Trolberg library in Hilda

While the library on the outside is a bit ordinary, inside it is grand, with many passageways reaching the chambers of the committee of three witches which control the Witches Tower. They have many resources at their disposal and if someone wanted they could study it for days upon days, hours upon hours! The lighting and set-up of the room imply that it has been there for a long time. This puts it at the top of this list.

2. Canterlot Library in Equestria Girls

This library is visited by Sunset Shimmer, Princess Twilight, and Princess Celestia in some of the parts of the specials, “Forgotten Friendship,” with Sunset looking for answers to solve an enchantment bewitching her friends. The library is shown as a grand place and while a library appears in the first episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series as well, as a place for celebration, which this series is a spinoff of, I do not believe it is the same library. Even so, this library definitely deserves to be on this list.

3. Princess Twilight’s ivory tower in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

In the first episode of this series, which aired in October 2010, Twilight looks through books in this ivory tower to find out if an ancient prophecy is about to come true. After reading in a book, she sends a message to Princess Celestia warning of the danger, but Celestia thinks she is too worried about it, and tells her to do something instead. As it turns out, Twilight is right, so libraries for the win, I guess! She later visits the Golden Oak Library, which becomes her home in Ponyville, which will be covered in another entry on this page.

4. Buddwick Public Library in Steven Universe

I’ve written about this before, but I’ve got to say that this library is the most positive part of the episode, much more than the shushing librarian. Unfortunately, the library is seen as a book depository rather than an information center, something that even Futurama realized. Even so, the library is shown as a place where people can read or study without being disturbed. As it turns out, the whole library is a repository of his books, so it makes it more like a repository in an archival sense. While libraries can be bustling, there are those in places like Newport, Rhode Island; Gloucester County, New Jersey, and San Mateo County, California which have silent book clubs, part of the Silent Book Club group, along with specific sections of the University of Albany libraries that are quiet, others which are collaborative. Quiet spaces in libraries will remain important going forward. On an interesting cultural note, there is a value of silence in Asian culture, including among Japanese people, where it is seen as valued and a “significant part of communication,” and research suggests that in many Asian cultures “people believe that talk is desirable only when there is something to be communicated.” [1] However, this does not mean someone should assume that quietness and being Asian are wrongly conflated, as that is a problematic stereotype. Someone of any race or gender can be quiet, since, as it should be plainly obvious, quietness is not inherent to any race. I’m not sure if Steven Universe is referencing that with the quietness in the Buddy Buddwick library, but they might be, due to other Asian influences from anime to Pearl herself. [2]

5. Mateo’s basement library in Elena of Avalor

Mateo and Naomi in the library, both preparing to leave in order to help Elena

I know some may already be grumbling about how this is a stereotype, one actually more often associated with archives than libraries, to have a library in a basement, but this library is beautiful in its own way! It is organized meticulously, including books and other materials that are easily accessible to Mateo, the wizard in Avalor, and he can be considered the librarian of his own library, the only one on this page. It shows up in the show’s first episode, which is amazing! I hope that it is like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in that this library, or others in the kingdom of Avalor, appear later in the series!

6. Golden Oak Library in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Interior of the library, showing it’s main reading room which is filled with books

The library appears over and over through the series, as Twilight uses it find out about specific spells and other information. It first appears in the show’s beginning episode, and is located within a hollowed-out tree, with the ground floor as the main reading room, a bedroom on the second floor, and has a basement as well. It is clearly her library and survives for much of the series, although not all of it. Lauren Faust, the show’s creator, said that it was originally referred to as “The Tree of Knowing.”

7. Royal Preparatory Academy library in the Sofia the First

In the eighth episode, Sofia and her friends come to the library to find out about how to be a princess. They talk to an older White woman known as Mrs. Higgins (who looks like an old maid), who works in the library. She is very helpful to them and they look through the library’s materials to find what they need. Sofia laments with her friends that she hasn’t been a princess for a while and doesn’t know a lot, with her friends comforting her. The library also appears in the pilot which began the series, titled “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess,” and in episode 16, “Make Way for Miss Nettle” for a very brief scene.

8. The Secret Library in Sofia the First

First appearing in the episode “The Secret Library,” then reappearing in the episodes “The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle,” “The Secret Library: The Tale of the Noble Knight,” “The Secret Library: Tale of the Eternal Torch,” and  “Forever Royal,” along with in the crossover movie, “Elena and the Secret of Avalor,” and various episodes in the Elena of Avalor series, this is a grand library. Buried deep below the castle, the library contains thousands upon thousands, if not millions, of books. So it more of a book depository than a library. Still, is amazing, with a balloon/flying elevator that allows patrons to go from one floor to the next. It turns out the library is inside of a huge tree and she meets Aunt Tilly there, who tells her the books on the walls don’t have endings, so she is hoping that Sofia will be the next “storykeeper,” with the library choosing the first story you have to choose the ending for. Then the library narrates the story or something? Anyway, the library basically gives Sofia a quest, to save some flying horse or something. Fast forward to the end of the episode, she saves the horse, it goes to a hidden valley, and she finishes her “first story.” This is one sort of strange library, for sure. The first episode it appears in is the only one we get which focuses on the library in-depth. The other episodes use the library as a magical setting, but that’s about it, other than some select moments in the final episode of the series, where she has one last book (and quest to solve) about her.

9. Royal library in Avalor in Elena of Avalor

In the episode “Island of Youth,” Estaban goes to the library tolament that “no one” remembers his birthday, even though Elena and the others are throwing him a surprise party. His loyal guard, Higgens does remember, however, cheering him up, telling him that no one forgot his library (which is true). He wishes he was young again, which obviously foreshadows what happens later in the episode. This library is just as grand as the library of Royal Preparatory Academy in Sofia the First as mentioned earlier in this episode and has lush chairs for people to sit and relax. I have one question: where are the librarians? Doesn’t someone work at this library? I mean, really. Getting tired of these librarian-less libraries.

10. Library on the Arcus Prima in Simoun

Limone, a young priestess (called a sibylla) who is a member of Chor Tempest, often hangs out in the library on the Arcus Prima, as shown in the opening of every episode. In the eighth episode, “Prayer,” Dominūra talks to Limone, noting that is reading a plumbish dictionary, and she pushes her off. And that’s the end of the scene in the library. However, the library definitely falls into this post, as it has qualities of beauty and generally pleasing.

© 2021 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


Notes

[1] Alina Lemak, “Chapter 6: Discussion” in “Silence, Intercultural Conversation, and Miscommunication,” Master of Arts Thesis, University of Toronto, 2012, page 159, accessed January 11, 2021. Lemack references a 1985 piece by Muriel Saville-Troike, referring to a chapter written by them titled “The Place of Silence in an Integrated Theory of Communication” within a book edited by Deborah Tanen and Saville-Troike titled Perspectives on Silence.

[2] Pearl, who is a femme woman on many levels, was argued to be Asian-coded as noted on page 65 of Heather Clark’s May 2017 thesis (“”My Lesbian Space Rock Show”: Representations of Intersecting Identities in Steven Universe), with a fan basing the determination on her voice actress (Deedee Magno Hall) and clothing, while saying that Garnet is coded as a Black woman, with later pages, like pages 66 and 67, saying the Gems as a whole can be seen as racially ambiguous, with Rebecca Sugar saying race is a grey area for the Gems. This discussion is continued through the rest of the chapter, “Race and Ethnicity,” which began on page 64, on pages 68 to 72.

By histhermann

Marylander with MLIS who loves archives, libraries, genealogy, reviewing pop culture, and writing fictional stories. UMD '19 & SMCM '16 grad. I've been running various WordPress blogs for a while now, about genealogy, libraries, archives, and more.

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